A YOUNG cycling star from Garstang has become the best in Britain at his chosen sport.
Adam Phillips has been crowned the British champion in his age group in the fast moving discipline of cycle speedway, the cycling version of the better known motorcycle speedway.
Adam, 13, of Hazelhurst Drive, won the Under 13 title at the annual British championships held at East Newport Cycle Speedway in Wales on Saturday.
The finals are contested following a gruelling championship season, and pits the best 16 riders from each age group in a series of five races.
In his races Adam won four and came second in one, giving him 19 points overall, just two points ahead of Exeter rider Will Tidball and Stockport’s Matt Turner on 17 points apiece.
Adam, a pupil at Garstang High School, rides in the colours of his nearest cycle speedway club, Astley and Tyldesley at Astley, Greater Manchester. He has enjoyed great success since first taking up the sport at the age of nine, winning an award for best newcomer in 2006, winning the Northern Under 10s Individual title in 2007 and 2008 and was his club’s Young Rider of the Year 2007.
He was runner-up in the British championships at Under 10 level in 2008 and had back-to-back wins in the British Junior Grand Prix series, winning the U-10 series in 2008 and the U-12 series in 2009. He also took third place in the 2009 British Under 13 indoor Individual final.
Adam, who is also a more than useful footballer who regular plays as a member of the Liverpool FC academy side, first became interested in cycle speedway through his dad, Lee, who also competed in the sport as a youngster.
Cycle speedway originated out of motorcycle speedway in the late 1940s, when motorised speedway as at the height of its popularity.
British competitions are run annually, and there are World Championships and European Championships biannually. There are approximately 40 clubs in Britain and there are also active clubs in Australia, Poland, Holland, Sweden and the USA. Four riders race four laps of an oval circuit similar, but smaller, than that familiar in motorcycle speedway, in races that rarely take longer than 50 seconds. Physical contact is both legal and often necessary and the specialist bikes themselves have no gears and no brakes, making for fast and exciting racing.
Adam now hopes his latest triumph could see him selected for international honours with the England juniors squad.